13-19 June 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

Particle detectors in (curved) space: the equivalence principle and QFT.

18 Jun 2015, 10:30
CCIS L1-047 (University of Alberta)

CCIS L1-047

University of Alberta

Oral (Student, In Competition) / Orale (Étudiant(e), inscrit à la compétition) Theoretical Physics / Physique théorique (DTP-DPT) R1-5 Quantum Gravity and Quantum Cosmology (DTP) / Gravité quantique et cosmologie quantique (DPT)


Keith Ng (University of Waterloo)


Classically, the equivalence principle tells us that an observer cannot determine the global structure of spacetime using local measurements. After reviewing previous results demonstrating the sensitivity of detectors to spacetime, I proceed to our most recent result: that one can distinguish between a detector in flat space and one inside a hollow spherical shell by measuring the energy required to switch it on and off. These results suggest that, in principle, a particle detector can be used to probe the shape of spacetime far away from the detector itself due to the non-local nature of quantum fields.

Primary author

Keith Ng (University of Waterloo)

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